Osmo Vänskä's farewell: Listen to cherished memories of Minnesota Orchestra's music director

Osmo Vänskä will conduct his last concert as music director of the Minnesota Orchestra on June 10.Nate Ryan/MPR

June 06, 2022

This weekend, conductor Osmo Vänskä performs his final concerts as music director of the Minnesota Orchestra. In celebration of his 17-year career at Orchestra Hall, we listen to the memories of several exceptional individuals who were touched by his musicianship, kindness and creativity. Listen to their stories below.

Erich Rieppel

Erich Rieppel, a percussionist chosen by Vänskä to join the orchestra, talks about his experience as timpanist on the cusp of a high-pressure performance of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 7 .

Osmo Vänskä memories - Erich Rieppel

Roma Duncan

Roma Duncan joined the Minnesota Orchestra at the same time as Osmo. She remembers a beautiful story about a gesture Osmo made onstage during a concert before a big piccolo solo in Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 that was all about trust.

Osmo Vänskä Memories - Roma Duncan

Milana Reiche

While playing in the first violins of the Minnesota Orchestra, Milana Reiche also served as the concertmaster of the Bloomington Symphony. She remembers Vänskä’s enthusiasm in accepting a request to lead the community orchestra, even turning down other gigs to keep the date.

Osmo Vänskä memories - Milana Reiche

Stephen Hough

Pianist Stephen Hough remembers recording Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s piano concertos with Vänskä and the Minnesota Orchestra, specifically Piano Concerto No. 2.

Osmo Vänskä memories - Stephen Hough

Nick Skrowaczewski

Nick Skrowaczewski fondly remembers Vänskä’s compassionate care for his father, Stan Skrowaczewski, during the final weeks of the conductor laureate’s life.

Osmo Vänskä memories - Nicholas Skrowaczewski